Growth Mindset

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Learning Goal

Students learn to identify differences between growth and fixed mindsets.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Identify the differences between a “never brain” (fixed mindset) and “yet
    brain” (growth mindset)
  • Understand the power of “yet” to change fixed mindset statements into growth mindset ones
Learning Summary

This lesson teaches students how to cultivate a growth mindset. Growth mindset, a concept developed by Dr. Carol Dweck, is the belief that our abilities can be developed through putting forth effort and not giving up. A fixed mindset, on the other hand, is the idea that our learning and abilities are fixed. When students can differentiate between the two mindsets, it is easier for them to persist and reach their goals.

The lesson begins with students mindfully walking around the room. Students then reflect on times over the past week they have stretched and grown their brains through learning. You then introduce the class to the terms “never brain” (fixed mindset) and “yet brain” (growth mindset). Then, in the Munchy and Jumpy story,
Munchy struggles with reading and is gifted a new hat with a bird on top. The bird repeats the word “yet” each time Munchy says he can’t do something. Students then make their own “yet bird hats” and practice turning never brain thoughts into yet brain thoughts. Students end by reflecting in their journals.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Growth Mindset

For both live and recorded delivery, the Mindful Moment can be done by students around their room. If students have to use headphones, give them the directions in advance and then set up a signal that you’ll show on the screen when it’s time to return to their desks.

Use the Munchy and Jumpy story as the main teaching component then differentiate the activity as needed. As part of the activity, for either delivery send out printouts of the Yet Bird Hat or have students draw their own.

Have students color in or create their own Yet Bird Hat then practice using the hat on camera.

Students can color in or create their own Yet Bird Hat on their own and then complete the Fixed or Growth Sentence worksheet as homework.

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a "growth mindset."

Self-management: The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.